Diary Writing


I watched a cute and funny video on The Atlantic about David Sedaris and him keeping a diary in today’s age.

I have half a bookshelf filled with my diaries, which I began keeping in 97/98. Every notebook is filled with my experiences growing up. It was how I released emotion. I wasn’t one to talk about my feelings (still learning to do that), but I didn’t want someone to talk back to me and give advice. I yearned for someone who would just shut up and listen. I found that “person” in notebooks. I wasn’t judged, and I felt free to write about anything I wanted.

But as I continued writing in my adult life, the entries weren’t imaginative anymore. They became sounding boards for the frustrations I was encountering. And the positive. The log time between entries grew too–I wasn’t writing as often. As the saying goes, “Life got in the way.”

However, watching this video made me proud to be a diary keeper and not an oversharer online: you know the person on Facebook who shares everything from health issues to photos of their children to relationship woes. Isn’t it tiring to see that? Where’s the discrection? If you share your life with the world, what do you have to hold onto? Your Facebook feed becomes your diary, when a diary is supposed to be private. As Sedaris said, “More people are documenting their lives now. The difference is the degree to which they’re sharing. And there’s a lot to be said for not putting things out there.”

Like handwritten letters, keeping a diary is old school. But putting pen to paper is intimate. Note taking doesn’t count here. Anyone can do that (and required for class!). However, writing a letter or your thoughts out takes effort. There’s no delete key, and the handwriting isn’t going to be legible to everyone who reads it. If you make a mistake, scratch it out or white it out. Or throw it out and start over.

While the computer’s great (Microsoft Office!), keeping a diary is still valued today. I won’t stop doing it.


I Want Attention!

The newest issue of WIRED Magazine caught my attention. I had never read their publication, but the headline about pain piqued my curiosity. I noted the key words on the cover so I could find the article and read it later.
It was an interesting piece, but afterward I found other articles on their site worth reading. I felt tempted to email the site to myself and bookmark it. That’s what I do when I find a site that has good content.
And there lies my (our) problem: over consumption.
It’s my inattentiveness or curiosity but I read a lot of articles on various websites. My bookmarks tab has food sites, music sites and lots of articles. Sometimes I tend to stay on one site and read whatever looks appealing. After doing that time has flown by!
But spending my time on the internet like this is not good for my stress level. I say stress because I look at my bookmarks and start to feel anxious. It’s a lot of information saved for later.
But here’s the real problem: So many publications are covering the same topics. So the questions become, which site do we go to for news? Which publication is best for business? Every website is competing for your attention, but how do they get you to ONLY go to their site and trust them? Do you choose the all-inclusive site like The New York Times, or a specialty one to read about science? And if you do the latter, what makes you choose Scientific American over NPR? Or do you read both?
How do we choose where to focus our reading on topics that interest us? What makes a website good enough for us to keep going back to it? I wrestle with the answers to these questions whenever I catch myself spending a few minutes too long on a website.
The internet can be a great learning tool, no doubt. (And a distraction!) Google can find anything you’re looking for in a second. But whose information do you trust?
This reminds me, I should clean up my bookmarks.

Career Wednesday: To Apply or Not to Apply


I was shown a job for a corporate communications writer and while there was a lot of responsibility I thought that I could handle it, until I read that the company required a “minimum of 7 years of communications and/or public relations experience…”

My eyes widened.

MINIMUM 7 years of experience!!!

With a sigh I knew right then that the job was out of my reach and searched more.

I found an open position for an email marketing specialist and while I have experience in marketing (social media), I’m not too well versed in the skills the company is looking for. I know the gist of them but haven’t worked with the software closely. As I was working on my resume I was having second thoughts about applying.

I thought that there had to be people who applied to jobs that were a little beyond their reach and at least secured an interview. To help guide me I Googled and found an article by Forbes which stated that while it’ll be a waste to apply to a position that required seven years experience but you only have two, apply to jobs where it’ll be easy to fill in any gaps you’re concerned about (specific skills, for example).

That made me feel slightly better, knowing that the skills and knowledge the position asked for could be learned beforehand.

Then, I found this comforting article from The Muse (which was where the Forbes article came from, but with different content), and Fear #2 spoke to me. The quotes in that section made me relax and I realized that everyone is not going to meet every single requirement that’s listed on a job ad. There’s no way.

So, with those articles and a new perspective, I decided to apply to the position. I didn’t submit anything yet but will soon.

Have you applied to a job that was out of your reach and either landed an interview or the position? If so, how did you make yourself look like a strong candidate? Let me know in the comments!